Arnold invests in street lights, but can they reduce crime? - KMOV.com

Arnold invests in street lights, but can they reduce crime?

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ARNOLD, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The city of Arnold decided to invest up to $200,000 per year to add street lights to neighborhoods which do not have them to deter crime and increase safety.

Within city limits, about half of the neighborhoods, which are newer, have street lights, but the other, older half of neighborhoods do not.

Research on the impact of street lights on crime is not conclusive, but residents in Arnold are hopeful that it will work.

"[Suspects] just come through the back alley over here and we've had a lot of car break-ins," said Kevin Hart, who lives in an older Arnold neighborhood without street lights. When asked if he thought his neighborhood would be safer with street lights, Hart said, "There's no doubt about it."

Street lights were required in the construction in newer neighborhoods and residents in those neighborhoods are glad to have them.

"As long as you have street lights, it makes it safe for everybody," said Bonnie Fears. "You can see what's going on and neighbors can see other neighbors."

The Arnold City Council recently approved a plan to spend up to $200,000 a year on street lights after residents of the city's older neighborhoods asked the city for years.

With paying for the electric bill and upkeep of the lights, neighborhoods will pay back approximately half the cost of the lights and installation within a ten year period.

"While we hope that this will help with crime, make people feel safer, we're not looking to use that metric as a judge of the success or failure," Arnold City Administrator Bryan Richison said.

Neighborhoods will have a choice between standard street lights and solar powered street lights, which cost $1,000 more.

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